What COVID coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

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phrag99
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What COVID coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by phrag99 »

.
Just heard that the British government has advised all British citizens to leave China as soon as practicable.

We have 2 Chinese nationals with the disease in hospital in Newcastle in an isolation unit. All those returning from China (from Wuhan) are in quarantine for 14 days. I believe that passengers from other Chinese flights are being checked for the symptoms of coronavirus on arrival.

It appears that different countries are taking different antivirus measures - so please let us know what is happening in your country.

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No Chinese nationals allowed across our borders for the past week or so.
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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by Kewinmons »

Two Corona cases reportedIin India are from my state.Both medical students from Vuhan University.

The Central govt had isolated Indian nationals who had came from China in a military isolation camp for observation.

Awareness programmes are massively held.Awareness ads are frequently displayed in major channels.The state health minister has taken the direct charge for action against Corona.

Our state was previously affected by Nipah virus in 2018.But massive measures helped to completely wipe down that epidemic.
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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by goof »

UK have also asked all NHS staff to isolate any patient who attends with flu like symptoms after either visiting or being in contact with anyone who has visited the affected area. Then whilst detaining the patient in isolation contact public health who will let us know the next measures, probably isolating us!!!

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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

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Australians airlifted out of Wuhan this week, and sent for weeks of isolation on Christmas Island. Whether they have the virus or not, and if they did not and if just one person on the Qantas 747 had it, the entire lot will doubtless have it now. :idea:
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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by RobRoyH »

Global Administrator wrote:Australians airlifted out of Wuhan this week, and sent for weeks of isolation on Christmas Island.
I understand the population is low but how do residents feel about that.

Are we talking isolation as in confined to a quarantine ward.... or will they have a chance to get out and enjoy the beaches? Might not be an unwelcome thing. :D
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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by Global Administrator »

RobRoyH wrote:
I understand the population is low, but how do residents feel about that.
A few Christmas Island residents were asked exactly that on TV here tonight and "Very P!ssed Off" is a polite summary! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by Allanswood »

RobRoyH wrote:
Global Administrator wrote:Australians airlifted out of Wuhan this week, and sent for weeks of isolation on Christmas Island.
I understand the population is low but how do residents feel about that.

Are we talking isolation as in confined to a quarantine ward.... or will they have a chance to get out and enjoy the beaches? Might not be an unwelcome thing. :D

Their being housed inside a jail "converted" to a pop up hospital. The jail is the infamous illegal immigrant detention centre. As far as I'm aware, the flight staff, doctors, nurses, etc, all have to stay as well. No one leaves that area until all clear.

It's a 14 day wait. However those that arrived early will likely have to stay for the 14 days after the last flight arrives.
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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by phrag99 »

I can understand the 14 day period in the context of no infection.

But what happens if someone falls ill with coronavirus infection after - say - 10 days? Someone must be providing food at the very least? Or am I missing something vital here?

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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by doug2222usa »

No new posts for 3 weeks!? Australia's directly in the line of fire, let's get crackin' on this subject! I'd like to see 4 or 5 new posts per day! I'll start with the essence from an oceanographer's commentary (not found in Google)--my wording--

What if we experience a mutation that lets the coronavirus thrive in ocean water, where it has no natural enemies?? Imagine Planet Earth with a poisonous ocean, followed by death of the big mammals, then coastal animals, then fish, then plankton...tourism, shipping, elimination of fish as a food source?

Then lethal rain and snow. End of civilization. :shock:

I predict Pakistan will be the next hot spot (as with South Korea, fatalities suddenly in the hundreds...)

edit// Stephen King predicted all this over 40 years ago:

The Stand is a postapocalyptic horror/fantasy novel by American author Stephen King. It expands upon the scenario of his earlier short story "Night Surf", and presents a detailed vision of the total breakdown of society after the accidental release of a strain of influenza that had been modified for biological warfare causes an apocalyptic pandemic, killing off over 99% of the world's population. Published in 1978, The Stand is the fourth and longest novel King published.

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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by 22028 »

Germans evacuated by the German government were isolated for two weeks at a military installation in Germany and were consequently released a few days ago as no symptoms broke out ...
Out of the 126 plus 22 crew kept in isolation, only 2 were diagnosed with the virus, these two were sent to hospital..
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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by gavin-h »

doug2222usa wrote:No new posts for 3 weeks!?
Indeed.

In my view, it's either media hype on a huge scale or there's something someone's not telling us.

Personally I'm inclined to think a bit of both...

When the media do look beyond the superficial, it's to tell us that most victims have "underlying health issues" or that it's less deadly than whichever previous virus they compare it to.

That said, there does seem to be a lot more widespread attention than these things usually attract, for instance we're getting NHS notices about preventing infections put up in pub toilets "catch your sneeze in a tissue" "wash your hands regularly" etc. Which suggests that there's either something to worry about, or that we've been too lax about common-sense measures for too long.

Having said all of the above, my thoughts are with the victims of this illness and their families. :idea:

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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by kuikka »

This should be interesting to read https://www.ghsindex.org/. It tells how prepared different countries are for pandemics. Should there be any truth in this study, the responses of different countries should be compared to this.

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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by gavin-h »

gavin-h wrote:In my view, it's either media hype on a huge scale or there's something someone's not telling us.
Having just been subjected to 10 minutes of BBC news coverage, I'd add an element of hysteria to the above... :idea:

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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by Arakan »

Some of the big trade shows have been cancelled (e.g. Mobile World Congress). How will this impact upcoming international shows?

From New Zealand 2020 website:
At present the New Zealand Government has made the decision on 2 February 2020 that “any foreign travellers who have left or transited through mainland China after 2 February 2020 will be denied boarding or refused entry to New Zealand. This measure includes all of China, but not Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR, and not Taiwan.

Nothing from London 2020 yet.
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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by Allanswood »

gavin-h wrote:
gavin-h wrote:In my view, it's either media hype on a huge scale or there's something someone's not telling us.
Having just been subjected to 10 minutes of BBC news coverage, I'd add an element of hysteria to the above... :idea:


There is no vaccine yet and they are still not sure how it's passed on (although likely the same as any other flu). It seems to be highly contagious (more than other flu's?) and may be so long before someone shows any symptoms of having it - so it would have spread unchecked and unnoticed until too late.

That cruise ship stuck in Japan has uncontrolled increases in new cases and yet they've all been isolated for many days, so how is it still spreading - has someone looked at the ventilation/air conditioning systems?


If its mortality rate was just 2% and it infected just 20% of the worlds population, it would mean the death of 32,000,000 people - but that's just hysteria to you?
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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by goof »

Back in 2009 there was a pandemic of H1N1 known as swine flu, this was a new strain which was easily spread. This virus went on to infect between 11-20% of the global population from early 2009 through to late 2010. This clearly wasn't a coronavirus but illustrates how a pandemic can infect a large portion of the population.

This Covid19 coronavirus was first reported on 31st December 2019 it's only February and it is not yet classed as a pandemic. The virus seems to be easily transmitted, but many countries are quickly adopting isolation methods which didn't occur with H1N1. Morbidity appears to be between 1-2% with medically compromised patients most at risk.

I feel the probability of a pandemic should not be underestimated, but whilst it remains appearing in large clusters and isolation measures are taken hopefully a full pandemic can be avoided. Time will tell but it will be some time before this calms down I'm sure.

Be sensible, follow local and national advice and don't think you're immune, stay safe everyone.

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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by doug2222usa »

We had a little taste of public confidence Monday morning. When the smoke cleared at 4 p.m., the Dow Jones was down over a thousand points, its third biggest loss ever, attributed to new (and unfavorable) numbers from South Korea.

Media hype is part of the landscape now, but the so-called 1% acted on what they believed, at 9:30 a.m. sharp.

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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

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kuikka wrote:This should be interesting to read https://www.ghsindex.org/. It tells how prepared different countries are for pandemics. Should there be any truth in this study, the responses of different countries should be compared to this.

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Looks like Greenland is the safest spot!

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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

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Greenland and few other grey spots are not part of this study. However, with the low density of population in Greenland, the virus should spread slowly, if at all.

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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by kuikka »

Here is another website of interest, should you not be aware of it:

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https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.h ... 7b48e9ecf6

This shows from Johns Hopkins University cumulative and present spread of the Coronavirus. It appears to be updated at least once a day per country, the time of update is different for different countries.

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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by gavin-h »

Allanswood wrote:If its mortality rate was just 2% and it infected just 20% of the worlds population, it would mean the death of 32,000,000 people - but that's just hysteria to you?
If. And if. And if.

And no mention that most of the worst affected have "underlying health issues".

And no mention of the regular seasonal influenza that is seemingly just as virulent and kills millions every year.

Why is there no mention of those things?

Or the amount of people killed by wholly preventable cancers?

Or those killed by poor sanitation?

Or those killed by cars.

Or guns?

So, yes, there is an element of hysteria to this.

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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

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Coronavirus: What happens when a COVID-19 pandemic is declared?

By medical reporter Sophie Scott and the Specialist Reporting Team's Penny Timms

Updated about 6 hours ago

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-25/coronavirus-covid-19- ... d/11998540

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With coronavirus now spreading through populations far from its origins in China, experts say it's become a matter of 'when' — not 'if' — the outbreak becomes a pandemic.

That means it's now time for us all to start preparing, according to University of Queensland virologist Ian Mackay.

"We need to be aware that we are probably heading for that pandemic even if the World Health Organisation doesn't want to call it that yet," Professor Mackay says.

"It's just a matter of time."

Travel bans and quarantine measures have had success in some parts of the world, but the virus has now started killing people in parts of Iran, Italy and South Korea.

Its highly contagious nature is making it difficult to contain.

When will a pandemic be declared?

The World Health Organisation defines a pandemic as "the worldwide spread of a new disease".

It declared a global health emergency last month, but says it's still too early to declare the outbreak a pandemic.

WHO's director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, says the virus has pandemic potential but, right now, using the word "does not fit the facts but may certainly cause fear".

But that's likely to change if the number of cases keeps growing in Europe, the Middle East and east Asia.

Australia's chief medical officer, Brendan Murphy, says even though the virus doesn't appear to be spreading in Australia for now, "if there is a global pandemic, we will be prepared".

"Every part of the health system is now working on its plan so that we're ready if things develop further in the future," he said at a press conference with the Prime Minister on Tuesday.

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He says it's hard to say when a pandemic will be declared.

"The question will evolve over the next few days to see whether the transmission in those countries can be contained or it's sustained.

"If it is sustained in those countries, as it has been in China, I suspect the WHO would make such a call.

"But at the moment, they're not making that call, because those countries are trying to contain."

What should I do to prepare?

Experts say preparation, not panic, is what's needed now.

"We need to think about whether you have enough medication and essential foods such as canned foods, some pasta or food that can give us fibre, carbohydrate and protein for two weeks, if things were to interrupt the supply chain of food," Professor Mackay says.

"Don't forget to prepare for pets as well, with extra supplies of dried pet food and flea treatments in case there are shortages."

But he cautions against panic-buying supplies or hoarding food.

"We don't want to see empty shelves," he says.

"We have time to prepare now by just buying a few extra supplies each time we shop, and set it aside."

Sharon Lewin, from Melbourne's Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, says it'll be even more important for people to get a flu shot before the next flu season.

That's because some people who have contracted the virus overseas have had co-infections, which worsened their conditions.

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What's the Government doing?

The Federal Government has a detailed pandemic preparedness plan.

It details how the Government would respond to a pandemic by doing things like:

cancelling large gatherings
asking people to work from home
boosting the capability of hospitals to deal with an increased demand for services, such as increasing intensive care beds

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The plan says these measures should be implemented "at a level appropriate for a disease of moderately high impact", because doing too little could have significant consequences.

"Measures will then be scaled up or down as more information becomes known."

Under the plan, state and territory governments are responsible for:

the operation of public health responses
undertaking "contact tracing" — that is, identifying people exposed to those who are infected, and following up with them
coordinating the distribution of antiviral drugs
bringing in "social distancing" measures (which could include closing schools and workplaces, quarantining people, cancelling events and even shutting down public transport)
implementing infection control guidelines and healthcare safety and quality standards

The states and territories would also "establish systems to promote the safety and security of people in aged care and other institutional settings and support outbreak investigation and management in residential aged care facilities, schools, prisons and other institutions", the report says.

What happens if I catch the virus?

So far, most of the people outside China who have contracted coronavirus have had a mild form of the disease.

"It doesn't look like it is going to cause severe disease in large numbers, but it will in small numbers," Professor Mackay says.

While this coronavirus, formally known as COVID-19, is in the same family as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), it is proving less deadly.

Image

The new virus has a death rate below 2 per cent, while the SARS fatality rate was around 10 per cent.

That means even though many people might be diagnosed with coronavirus, in many people it will be a moderate illness.

But, unlike influenza, there is no effective treatment or vaccine for coronavirus.

The elderly and people with existing health problems are at the highest risk.

"We may see death amongst the elderly, so we need to be thinking about their care," Professor Mackay says.

"We need to make sure they have their medications up to date, have food as well, and talk to the care facilities about what its plans are for something like this pandemic."

As well as following good personal hygiene such as hand washing, experts say we should pay close attention to the advice of local and national public health authorities.

"They are doing a lot of work behind the scenes to make sure we will be as protected as possible."

So, how worried should I be?

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says travel bans and quarantine measures have been "very effective" here, and Australians can confidently go about their daily lives as normal.

"In Australia, there is no great risk at this point in time when it comes to human transmission, given the 15 cases [from Wuhan] that were identified have all been cleared and the remaining seven are mild cases, and they are in isolation."

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Professor Sharon Lewin is the director of the Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity. It was the first place to grow the COVID-19 outside of China.

She agrees Australia has good plans in place.

"We are an island, but we're not isolated from the rest of the world, so it's not feasible that we can completely isolate ourselves," Professor Lewin says.

"There's been a lot of very detailed thinking of what will happen in the containment phase, which is what we're doing now — where are the labs up to, diagnosis, how would we handle stockpiles of masks and gloves?"

She says major pandemic measures, such as mass school closures and major event cancellations, haven't been taken in Australia before.

"We will be guided by federal and state health departments, but there is absolutely no need to start thinking about that now."

The chief medical officer says there are still a lot of unknowns.

"One of the things I've learned about this virus is it's very hard to predict anything, other than making a daily evaluation of the facts," Professor Murphy says.

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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

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gavin-h wrote:
Allanswood wrote:If its mortality rate was just 2% and it infected just 20% of the worlds population, it would mean the death of 32,000,000 people - but that's just hysteria to you?
If. And if. And if.
Because my "if's" were low ball estimates - basic sound research is saying 2% of unhealthy and 1% of healthy will die. Other estimates are heading higher not lower. If this hit Africa or the Sub-Continent???

If you view Kuikka's link above you can see that mortality is sitting on 3.3% for confirmed (higher than my figures), but it's actually 10% for recovery vs died!

What is the cost of losing workforces, police, doctors etc laid up in bed while they handle this?


And no mention that most of the worst affected have "underlying health issues".
Because that's true of all flu's. And see above.

And no mention of the regular seasonal influenza that is seemingly just as virulent and kills millions every year.
Because in a normal year, calculations put the deaths at far less than 1 million (some even less than 100,000 and they have treatments for those - there is no vaccines for this one.

Why is there no mention of those things?

Or the amount of people killed by wholly preventable cancers?
Not highly contagious

Or those killed by poor sanitation?
Not highly contagious and that's country specific

Or those killed by cars.
Not highly contagious and that's not in the millions!

Or guns?
You're not serious?

So, yes, there is an element of hysteria to this.
So, no, under reacting could kill millions, cost trillions. Level heads, sound advice, some areas of the media with a pinch of salt, but it's not hysteria.
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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by Rigs »

The human cost is one thing - without doubt a major concern, but this virus seems to be unique in also ripping the economy to shreds, with financial markets on the verge of punching the panic button: Virus + plus the potential for Sanders = economic disaster

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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

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Many might argue that an occasional nasty flu or virus helps keep down population expansion with no Government assistance needed in that. :mrgreen:

The world has about 8 BILLION people. Can we keep sustaining this population explosion - of course not. Anyone with minimal grey matter can see that.
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We travelled all over India in January (~20% of the world's population) and the massive cities there have chronic water shortages. Mumbai the worst. Very soon, Wars will be fought over water, not land. :idea:

Governments clearly cannot do anything. Maybe the occasional global virus is natural selection of some kind at work? Not a nice thought I agree, but this will get a LOT worse than many imagine in the next month. Stockmarkets globally have crashed n the past few trading days.

Humans have short memories - MORE humans were killed by this Spanish Flu virus just a century back, than the ENTIRE global Military and Civilian death toll of ALL nations combined of WWI. Little known fact.

Spanish flu

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The 1918 influenza pandemic (January 1918 – December 1920; colloquially known as Spanish flu) was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic, the first of the two pandemics involving H1N1 influenza virus, with the second being the swine flu in 2009. It infected 500 million people around the world, or about 27% of the then world population of between 1.8 and 1.9 billion, including people on remote Pacific islands and in the Arctic. The death toll is estimated to have been 40 million to 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million, making it one of the deadliest epidemics in human history. Historical and epidemiological data are inadequate to identify with certainty the pandemic's geographic origin.

Infectious diseases already limited life expectancy in the early 20th century, but life expectancy in the United States dropped by about 12 years in the first year of the pandemic. Most influenza outbreaks disproportionately kill the very young and the very old, with a higher survival rate for those in-between. However, the Spanish flu pandemic resulted in a higher than expected mortality rate for young adults.

To maintain morale, wartime censors minimised early reports of illness and mortality in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States. Papers were free to report the epidemic's effects in neutral Spain (such as the grave illness of King Alfonso XIII).] These stories created a false impression of Spain as especially hard hit, thereby giving rise to the pandemic's nickname, "Spanish flu".
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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by DJM »

If it was me in charge I'd have EVERYONE who sets foot in Australia given a health check, not just the Chinese.

Saw a Four Corners report about the virus and in China the Authorities are allowed to bash doors down to drag away people who have the virus (case of 'dob in a neighbour' ?), and if a building has multiple infections they weld the doors shut so no-one can get out.

If the Government wants to keep the virus out of Australia they will have to become a LOT tougher I think...

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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by Global Administrator »

WHAT ''Health Checks'' do you suggest Darrin?

Full and complete blood tests for the more than 25,000 arriving cruise and air tourists a day at airports? And lock them all up while pathology results come back?

Thank gawd you are not in Government. Yes 25,000 a DAY of tourists is the number.

It is now clearly evident it can take a month or so for any symptoms to show.

We were in China last month - we might have it - how do we know?

Short-term visitor arrivals

The record annual 9.3 million visitors in 2018-19 was 3.8 million more than 10 years earlier and 272,300 more than 1 year ago. There has generally been an ongoing increase of visitor arrivals to Australia over recent decades.

https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/products/961B6B53B87C130ACA2574030010BD05
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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by DJM »

Well I think Health Checks are better than locking the gates for everyone don't you think ? the test for the virus are getting faster so maybe the checks can be a reality soon...

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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

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We have not ''locked the gates for everyone''.

And again please share with us these alleged ''Health Checks'' you can use **NOW** with certainty on 25,000 arriving tourists day.

A bunch of clueless Bureaucrats all muttering checks are a cool idea in theory, does not mean they exist NOW for CERTAIN identification on an immediate level for mass numbers EACH day.

The virus is already here now - in Australia, there have been 23 confirmed cases, including 15 people who have already recovered.
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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

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Global Administrator wrote:We have not ''locked the gates for everyone''.
not yet - but when the word 'Pandemic' starts being used regularly then it may happen..

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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by fromdownunder »

DJM wrote:If it was me in charge I'd have EVERYONE who sets foot in Australia given a health check, not just the Chinese.

D.
For something which has apparently potentially up to a 14 day incubation period, what would you suggest. Seriously, "health check" in this context means exactly what to you? Please describe what you have in mind.

And as an aside, where does this leave the Tokyo Olympics in May?

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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by bazza4338 »

As coronavirus COVID-19 spreads, how are Italy, Iran, Korea and others dealing with the outbreak?

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-26/coronavirus-covid-19- ... k/11972248

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The Australian Government says it is "pandemic ready" but warns "no country is immune" as coronavirus hotspots continue to crop up around the globe.

Key points:

The outbreak in Italy has seen the virus spread to other European countries for the first time
A Brazilian man has been confirmed as South America's first case
Iran has been accused of a cover-up while some of China's allies have a relaxed approach

Only two months from the first reported case in China, the death toll now stands at more than 2,700 and there are more than 80,000 recorded cases of the COVID-19 virus around the world — although the vast majority of cases and deaths continue to be concentrated in Hubei province's Wuhan.

Following on the heels of other nations, Australia imposed a travel ban on China with some exemptions despite the World Health Organisation warning such measures would only contribute to "fear and stigma".

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This week saw fresh rounds of case spikes in Iran, South Korea, and Italy, while deaths have also been recorded in Japan, the Philippines, France, and Taiwan.

At the time of writing, the deadly virus had reached more than 30 countries.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told a press briefing the Australian Government had exercised "an abundance of caution" and that those measures "have proved to be effective".

"I can confirm that of the 15 cases that had previously been identified here in Australia, that were sourced from Wuhan, all 15 of those patients have now been discharged and have overcome the virus," he said.

Seven other Australians contracted the virus on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

But as Australia continues to grapple with how to handle the outbreak, other countries — including China's allies and those with frostier diplomatic relations — have responded in different ways.

Iran has highest death toll outside China amid cover-up claims

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The coronavirus has claimed the lives of 19 people in Iran — the highest number of coronavirus deaths outside China — with roughly 139 people infected.

Countries around Iran are closing their borders. Turkey, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Armenia have shut off access, while authorities have cancelled concerts, sport events, and closed schools while urging Iranians to stay at home.

But the virus has already hit senior Iranian officials.

Image

Among the infected is Iran's Deputy Health Minister, Iraj Harirchi. He posted a video on social media on Tuesday confirming he had contracted the virus, while another MP — Mahmoud Sadeghi — also tested positive.

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"I don't have a lot of hope of continuing life in this world," he wrote on Twitter.

The high mortality rate in a nation thousands of kilometres from Wuhan has left commentators wondering whether the scale of the virus's spread is being accurately reported by Iranian media.

This week, Iran's MP for Qom — a city just south of Tehran where many cases have been reported — made allegations of a cover-up while claiming "around 50" people had died from the virus, a claim disputed by Iranian health authorities.

Meanwhile, there are fears the virus could spread through key pilgrimage routes — millions of people journey through Qom every year — which could spread the virus further while also impacting on refugees in the region who already lack access to adequate health services.

Indonesia maintains it has zero cases due to 'prayers' despite mass tourism

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In contrast to Iran, Indonesia has yet to report a single case of the novel coronavirus on its shores despite being slow to suspend direct flights from Wuhan to Bali amid the outbreak while hosting 1.3 million Chinese tourists last year.

The regional anomaly has experts questioning quarantine and screening procedures in the world's fourth-most-populous country, with a population of more than 270 million.

From Wuhan to Australia: A timeline of key events in the spread of China's deadly coronavirus....
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-29/coronavirus-timeline- ... s/11903298

The Sydney Morning Herald reported earlier this year Indonesia lacked the right test kits to identify the virus until February.

Meanwhile, when asked how it was possible Indonesia had no confirmed cases, Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto said it came down to faith.

"In medical terms, prayers," he said. "All because of prayers."

But while Indonesia maintains its zero-case status, experts believe it's just a matter of time before cases start appearing across the archipelago.

Meanwhile, in a video provided exclusively to the ABC, Indonesian workers on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan pleaded with President Joko Widodo to evacuate them.

"We're afraid that we're being killed slowly," they said.

"Please don't let us get sick and slowly die from how long it has taken to evacuate us."

North Korea seals border with key ally China amid nutrition fears

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Following news of the initial outbreak, Pyongyang wasted no time swiftly shutting its border with China, halting tourism and cancelling its annual marathon.

The 1,500 kilometre border with chief ally China is porous in many parts, allowing for the smuggling of people and goods.

Some observers noted shutting the border was a necessary step to contain the virus, given North Korea's poor health system and rates of malnutrition in its population that could make it vulnerable to infection.

But others have pointed out the border shutdown cuts off access to one of its few allies and economic lifelines — Foreign Policy highlights more than 90 per cent of North Korea's trade is with China.

State media reported 380 foreigners — mostly diplomats in Pyongyang — were put under quarantine.

One South Korean media outlet reported an official had been executed for breaching quarantine, but such reports can prove unreliable and could not be independently verified.

But for a hermit state wedged between China and South Korea, the sites of the two largest outbreaks, the absence of the novel virus is conspicuous.

Nonetheless, North Korea's propaganda outlets maintain the country has zero cases of the virus.

South Korean cult at heart of recent spike

Less than a week ago, South Korea had only registered two-dozen cases. But that number skyrocketed in the past few days to over 1,140 infections and at least 11 deaths.

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Most of the fatalities occurred at a hospital in the southern county of Cheongdo near Daegu where a slew of infections were detected in a mental health ward.

A religious group in Daegu, cast as a secretive doomsday cult, has been at the heart of South Korea's recent boost in coronavirus cases.

Shincheonji sect, which is also known as Church of Jesus, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony, is headed by Lee Man-hee, who claims to be a prophet.

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Observers of the faith huddle in close quarters to pray at a proximity that could help incubate the disease.

He urged his members to "follow the Government's instructions" and avoid public gatherings.

"This disease outbreak is the work of the Devil, which is hellbent on stopping the rapid growth of the Shincheonji," he told his followers.

President Moon Jae-in has said the situation is "very grave" and has raised the highest alert level for infectious diseases, but has not ordered a lockdown of the city of Daegu.

Italy is Europe's hardest-hit nation amid hunt for 'patient zero'

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The number of cases in Italy, the country in Europe worst affected, rose to more than 374 this week with the death toll climbing to 12.

The streets in northern Italy are eerily empty in a declared "red zone", with more than 50,000 people in lockdown.

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The virus has also spread to the south of Italy, with several countries reporting their first cases of the deadly COVID-19 apparently stemming from Italy, including Austria, Croatia, Switzerland, Algeria and Greece.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was forced to admit a local hospital had mishandled the region's first coronavirus case, contributing to the spread, and health authorities were yet to identify "patient zero" — the person who first brought the virus into the country.

The final days of the world-famous Venice Carnival were cancelled as authorities scrambled to contain the outbreak, with football matches in the region also called off.

South America on Wednesday (local time) also recorded its first case after Brazil's Government confirmed a 61-year-old Brazilian who returned from Italy this month tested positive.

This means the virus has now spread to every continent except Antarctica.

Cambodia 'too hot' for the virus as Myanmar fights infection with pepper

As the New York Times noted earlier this month, the coronavirus outbreak has received a notably subdued response "in countries where China holds sway".

In Myanmar, Buddhist monks broadcast over loudspeakers that placing "exactly seven" ground peppercorns on the tongue will ward off the virus.

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While other countries are imposing travel bans, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has made a move in the opposite direction, declaring his intention to travel to Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus.

He was told "no" — Wuhan was in lockdown — but he boasted of being the first world leader to visit China since the outbreak, in a gesture of solidarity.

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He has repeatedly said fear of the new coronavirus is worse than the virus itself, and the country also welcomed the cruise ship MS Westerdam, to praise from the WHO director-general and US President Donald Trump.

It's a publicity boost at a time when the European Union is stripping back a trade agreement over human rights concerns, including the ongoing trial of Cambodia's opposition leader and the forced dissolution of his party.

Cambodia's Health Minister, Mam Bun Heng, said the country was too hot for the virus to spread.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said that was not the case.

"At this stage, the virus is too new for us to be sure how warmer weather could affect transmissibility," a spokesperson told the ABC.

"The virus has affected people in cold/dry and warm/wet climates. WHO advise public to follow precautions wherever they live."

The WHO has recommended "a range of infection-prevention measures including careful hand and respiratory hygiene, and keeping at least 1 metre distance from others to help stop transmission" and has also "issued guidance to assist all countries to prepare for possible international exportation of COVID-2019 cases".

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https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-27/coronavirus-spreading ... e/12005194

(Excerpt)

The number of new coronavirus cases being officially reported outside China has exceeded those reported by Beijing for the first time since the outbreak began, the World Health Organisation has said.

Key points:

WHO's director-general said the spread was "deeply concerning", but not a pandemic yet
There are now 38 countries affected by coronavirus, including China
A WHO mission will travel to Iran at the weekend to provide support

There were 427 new cases reported by 37 countries on Tuesday (local time), compared with 411 by China, according to WHO.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the sudden increase in cases in Italy, Iran and the South Korea were "deeply concerning".

Infections linked to Iran had been confirmed in Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait and Oman, while cases tied to Italy had been found in Algeria, Austria, Croatia, Germany, Spain and Switzerland, Dr Tedros said.

South America on Wednesday (local time) also recorded its first case after Brazil's Government confirmed a 61-year-old Brazilian who returned from Italy this month tested positive.

This means the virus has now spread to every continent except Antarctica.

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Saudi Arabia blocks foreign pilgrims as Japan plans school closure amid coronavirus outbreak

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-28/saudi-arabia-bans-for ... s/12008894

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Saudi Arabia has suspended arrivals by foreign pilgrims and tourists from some two dozen countries where the new coronavirus has spread, as a growing number of cases deepened fears of a pandemic.

Key points:

The ban is set to disrupt the travel plans of many Muslims ahead of Ramadan in April
It was unclear if the major Hajj pilgrimage, set to begin in late July, would be impacted
All schools in Japan will be asked to close from March 2

The decision comes ahead of the holy fasting of Ramadan, which begins in late April, when visits by Muslims to the kingdom accelerate.

More than 7.5 million people performed the minor Umrah pilgrimage — which can be taken at any time of year — in the birthplace of Islam throughout 2019, according to official figures.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar have not reported any coronavirus cases, but the other four Gulf Arab states have.

The virus has infected about 80,000 people worldwide and killed more than 2,800, the majority in China where the outbreak began in late 2019.

The number of new infections inside China was for the first time overtaken by new cases elsewhere on Wednesday, with Italy and Iran emerging as epicentres of the illness.

Iran has introduced new measures to combat the spread, including cancelling the main religious sermon on Friday in Tehran, and banning Chinese citizens from visiting the country.

A total of 26 people have died so far in Iran — the highest death toll outside China — and there are now some 245 people infected.

Among them, state media reported, is Iranian Vice-President Masoumeh Ebtekar, better known as spokeswoman "Mary" for the 1979 hostage-takers who seized the US Embassy in Tehran and sparked the 444-day diplomatic crisis.

Kuwait and Bahrain recorded more cases on Thursday, all involving people who had been in Iran, to bring their totals to 43 and 33, respectively.

Oman has diagnosed four cases and the United Arab Emirates, a main air transit hub, has reported 13 cases.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organisation, said on Thursday (local time) it would be a "fatal mistake" for any country to assume it would not be hit by the new coronavirus.

"No country should assume it won't get cases, that would be a fatal mistake, quite literally," he said.

"If you take Italy, a member of the G7, it was really a surprise.

"So even many other developed countries … should expect some surprises."

Mr Tedros said epidemics in Iran, Italy and South Korea were at a "decisive point" — still marked by clusters of infections with some transmission in communities, but not yet by sustained community transmission.

'It's a blessing from the Almighty'

Pilgrimage is big business for Saudi Arabia, which hosts the two holiest sites of Islam in Mecca and Medina, and is the backbone of a plan to expand tourism under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's ambitious economic reform agenda.

Some 2 million people are expected in late July for the week-long Hajj pilgrimage, the world's largest annual gathering of Muslims.

The Saudi foreign ministry said the suspensions were temporary but provided no timeframe. It was unclear if the Hajj pilgrimage would be impacted.

Indonesia's foreign minister has urged Saudi Arabia to allow its citizens to continue their Umrah pilgrimage after hundreds were stranded at Jakarta airport.

Indonesia is the world's biggest Muslim-majority country and sends around 1 million pilgrims to Saudi Arabia every year.

"The immediacy of this will impact our citizens because at the time of the announcement, there are Indonesian citizens or maybe citizens of other countries who have flown there," Indonesia's foreign minister, Retno Marsudi, told reporters on Thursday.

Joko Asmoro, of the Association of Muslim Hajj and Umrah Organisers, said 150,000 to 200,000 Indonesian pilgrims could be affected by the suspension during the next month.

In Indonesia, Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto defended the country's screening process for coronavirus on Thursday and said the absence of confirmed cases in the world's fourth-most populous nation was a "blessing from the Almighty".

The sprawling South-East Asian country of more than 260 million people has not recorded any cases, though some of its citizens overseas have contracted the virus, including eight crew on the Diamond Princess cruise liner off Japan's Yokohama.

Researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in the United States, said in a study this month that Indonesia should strengthen outbreak surveillance and control — especially as it had direct flights from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak.

The Harvard team said Indonesia's lack of confirmed cases "may suggest the potential for undetected cases".

Abe orders all Japanese schools to close

Japan's entire school system, from elementary to high schools, will be asked to close from March 2 until their upcoming spring break late in the month to help contain the coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday.

The dramatic escalation of Japan's fight against the virus followed rising criticism of what has been seen as a lukewarm government response.

"This coming week or two are an extremely important period," Mr Abe told a coronavirus task force.

"Prioritising childrens' health and safety above everything else, we will ask all the elementary, junior high and high schools across Japan to temporarily close from March 2 to spring break."

The Japanese school year ends in March.

Meanwhile, a Japanese woman working as a tour bus guide tested positive for the coronavirus for a second time, having suffered from the virus previously and recovered, Osaka's prefectural government said.

Her case, the first known sufferer in Japan, highlighted how much is still unknown about the virus.

The number of cases in Japan rose on Thursday to more than 200, up from the official tally of 186 late on Wednesday.

On the main northern island of Hokkaido, 15 new cases, including two children under the age of 10, were confirmed.

The Government has urged that big gatherings and sports events be scrapped or curtailed for two weeks to contain the virus while pledging that the 2020 Summer Olympics will go ahead in Tokyo.

Reuters/AP

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Coronavirus scare at Gold Coast beauty salon after beautician tests positive following trip to Iran

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-29/coronavirus-queenslan ... n/12013580

Image
Dr. Jeanette Young

Authorities are trying to track down up to 40 people who went to a Gold Coast salon and were treated by a beautician who has been diagnosed with coronavirus.

Key points:

The 63-year-old woman became ill after travelling to the Gold Coast from Iran
She is in a stable condition and in isolation in hospital
Authorities will contact anyone who went to the Hair Plus salon last Thursday to ask them to get tested for the virus

The 63-year-old woman had recently returned from Iran and started feeling ill on Thursday while working at the Hair Plus salon, in the Australia Fair shopping centre at Southport.

Australia has now had 23 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus, nine of them in Queensland.

The state's chief health officer, Jeannette Young, said the woman did facial treatments on up to 40 clients, in sessions lasting less than 15 minutes.

"She saw a number of clients each for brief interactions, so we believe the risk is incredibly low," Dr Young said.

Image

"Because as soon as she had her first symptom — and she is a highly intelligent, very sensitive lady — she spoke to her manager and she went home and she went to Gold Coast University Hospital to get tested.

"She did everything perfectly, you couldn't have asked more of her.

"She came back from Iran, she was perfectly well on the flight back into Australia and up to the Gold Coast, and then a couple of day later she developed some symptoms."

On Saturday afternoon the Federal Government announced a travel ban on foreigners coming to Australia from Iran due to the outbreak.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said there is likely a large number of undetected cases in Iran.

Queensland 'heading for epidemic'

The woman is in a stable condition and in isolation in the Gold Coast University Hospital.

Dr Young said authorities would be contacting anybody who went to the salon on Thursday to ask them to get tested.

Salon staff told the ABC they were shocked by the diagnosis, but did not want to elaborate further.

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The woman was in good health when she flew into Australia, then to the Gold Coast, on Monday.

She only began showing signs of illness on Thursday.

"We've got no concerns about her flight," Dr Young said.

"We've got no concerns about that first day, it's only on Thursday when she developed symptoms.

"We know that we will be seeing a pandemic result through the world — it's not been declared yet.

"But we know we will be seeing an epidemic here in Queensland eventually.

"We'd like to contain the virus, as we have been, for as long as possible and I believe that we're doing that very effectively at the moment."

'Natural disaster declaration needed'

Health Minister Steven Miles said if there was a widespread outbreak clinical staff would be sent to aged-care facilities to care for vulnerable people.

"Those over 80 are most at risk," he said.

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He said the Federal Government should treat the virus as a natural disaster so more financial support can be provided, adding that hospitals too may need more funding.

"It is impacting on business, it's impacting on the economy in the same way as a natural disaster does," he said.

Dr Miles said the latest case will come as a blow to the Gold Coast's tourism sector, with the region's peak tourism body estimating the glitter strip had already lost more than $500 million.

The State Government has announced a $27 million aid package for affected businesses but estimates a total bill of $2 billion for tourism, education and agriculture.

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Coronavirus update: WHO upgrades COVID-19 risk to 'very high' as Iran, Italy cases spread around the world

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-29/coronavirus-updates-live/12013124

Image

As coronavirus spreads to more countries across the world, the World Health Organisation upgrades its assessment of the risk of global spread and impact of COVID-19 to its highest level of alarm.

This story covering the outbreak was being regularly updated throughout the day until late Saturday night.

Here is what happened on Saturday:

Key moments on Saturday

Indonesia confirms passenger with coronavirus transited through Bali airport
British cruise ship passenger dies of coronavirus
Australia bans foreign nationals coming from Iran
Iran denies covering up hundreds of deaths
Trump makes claims about potential cure
Want a country-by-country breakdown? Check out the latest figures
South Korea records bigger rise than China
A dog has tested positive for COVID-19
WHO upgrades coronavirus risk

Italian regional chief sorry for saying Chinese eat 'live mice'

A governor of a region in Italy hit by an outbreak of coronavirus has apologised for criticising China over the contagion and saying Chinese people "eat live mice".

Veneto Governor Luca Zaia pinned the blame on China for the flare-up in Italy, which has led to at least 21 deaths, saying that unlike Italians, the Chinese did not have good standards of hygiene.

"The hygiene that our people, the Venetians and the Italian citizens have, the cultural training we have, is that of taking a shower, of washing, of washing one's hands often," Mr Zaia said in an interview on Friday.

"It is a cultural fact that China has paid a big price for this epidemic because we have seen them all eat mice live or things like that."

His words stung the Chinese embassy in Rome, which described the comments on Facebook as "slander" and a "gratuitous attack".

Political opponents of Mr Zaia also denounced his comments, saying they would damage ties between the two countries.

The Veneto Governor, who is a member of the right-wing League party, said he had not meant to cause offence.

"My words came out badly, I agree. If anyone was offended, I am sorry," he told Corriere della Sera newspaper on Saturday.

"I wanted to say that when it comes to food health and safety, controls change from country to country."

Symptoms to watch for

New South Wales Health on Friday issued new advice for international travellers.

Those returning to Australia from China, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand are being told to watch out for symptoms.

So what symptoms should you be looking out for?

Fever
Cough
Sore throat
Shortness of breath

NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said symptoms could be very mild.

"If symptoms develop, immediately isolate yourself and call your doctor or Health Direct 1800 022 222 for an assessment," Dr Chant said.

Russia to deport quarantine violators

Moscow will deport 88 foreign nationals for allegedly violating quarantine measures imposed on them as a precaution against the coronavirus, the RIA news agency cited Moscow's deputy mayor as saying on Friday.

Russia has quarantined hundreds of people to prevent the spread of the epidemic, carrying out raids on potential carriers of the virus and using facial recognition technology to enforce quarantine measures.

Image

"During raids, 88 people who violated their isolation conditions were identified," RIA quoted deputy mayor Anastasia Rakova as saying.

"They are foreign citizens who are due to be deported."

She did not say where the foreigners were from, how they would be deported or what kind of isolation measures they had been put under.

But Ms Rakova said daily raids were being conducted in crowded places, at the residences of Chinese citizens and those of Russians and foreigners who flew to Moscow from China before full controls were imposed at the border.

Russia has barred many categories of Chinese national from entering the country and suspended many flights between the countries except for some that are routed through a separate terminal at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport.

"Police officers are conducting raids in hospitals, hostels, private apartments and also in the metro and on public transport," Ms Rakova was quoted as saying.

China's embassy in Russia has demanded an end to what it said are discriminatory anti-coronavirus measures against Chinese nationals, saying they are damaging relations and alarming Chinese residents of the Russian capital.

Indonesia confirms passenger with coronavirus transited through Bali airport

Indonesian health authorities have contacted New Zealand to identify a passenger with coronavirus who transited at Bali international airport, to trace who she and 99 other passengers were in contact with at the airport.

Image

ABC Indonesia correspondent Anne Barker said health authorities confirmed the woman was in the terminal, but no-one showed signs of illness.

None of the airport staff have complained of feeling unwell. They are being monitored, but not asked to quarantine themselves.

The woman flew on an Emirates flight from Dubai to Bali, where she got off the plane for one hour and 40 minutes before boarding her next flight to Auckland.

Indonesian health authorities had earlier said that no passengers exited the plane in Bali while in transit.

But Emirates customer support said passengers must exit and wait in the airport terminal.

Indonesian authorities earlier said they had no knowledge of the woman, regarding the reports as rumours.

Indonesia still denies there are any cases in the country.

A coronavirus case confirmed in Queensland late on Friday also involved a woman who had travelled from Iran.

It is not known what flight she was on.

"The woman returned from Iran and is currently in isolation at the Gold Coast University Hospital," Queensland chief health officer Jeannette Young said, in a statement issued late on Friday night.

British cruise ship passenger dies of coronavirus

A British man who was infected by the coronavirus on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan has died, bringing the death toll among people who were aboard the vessel to six, Japan's government said.

He was the first foreigner from the ship to die, according to Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. It did not provide his name or age.

Image

Japan's health ministry said the latest fatality brought deaths from the virus in the country to 11, including the six who were on board the cruise ship, which has over 700 cases of the virus.

The Diamond Princess run by Carnival Japan Inc, docked in Yokohama on February 3.

"We are supporting the family of a British man who has died in Japan and are in contact with local authorities," Britain's foreign ministry said on Friday.

"Our sympathies and thoughts are with his family at this difficult time."

Earlier, health authorities in the United Kingdom said the country now has 19 confirmed cases of coronavirus after Wales identified its first case and two new cases were found in England.

Iranians banned from flying into Australia

Australia has announced a travel ban on foreigners coming to Australia from Iran.

Foreign nationals coming from Iran will be forced to spend a fortnight in a third country before being allowed into Australia.

Australian citizens and permanent residents will need to isolate themselves for a fortnight after returning from Iran.

Iran has officially recorded 593 cases of coronavirus and 43 deaths — the highest mortality rate for the disease outside China.

Stockpiling 'not a sign of panic'

Have you been out shopping for medical or food supplies this weekend?

Associate Professor of Behavioural Economics at the University of Newcastle, David Savage, has told the ABC there is nothing wrong with stockpiling household goods in case of a pandemic.

"Nothing about wanting to stock yourself up for a potential threat is really panic or irrational behaviour," Dr Savage said.

"There are actually some really good lists of emergency and survival kits and they include things that most people forget about, especially during disasters, not necessarily a pandemic.

"Medications are a big one, if your family members of yourselves take medications, actually having two or three weeks of medication is really important."

Image

Kim Jong-un warns of 'serious consequences'

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has called for stronger anti-virus efforts, saying there will be "serious consequences" if the illness spreads to the country.

During a ruling party meeting, Mr Kim called for the country's anti-epidemic headquarters to strengthen screening and tests to seal off all "channels and space through which the infectious disease may find its way", Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency said.

Image

The North Korean leader said people should "unconditionally" obey quarantine instructions laid out by the anti-epidemic headquarters.

"In case the infectious disease spreading beyond control finds its way into our country, it will entail serious consequences," the agency quoted Mr Kim as saying during the politburo meeting of the Workers' Party.

North Korea is yet to report its first infection from the new coronavirus, but it has been pushing a tough campaign it has described as a matter of "national existence".

The country has shut down nearly all cross-border traffic, banned tourists, intensified screening at entry points and mobilised tens of thousands of health workers to monitor residents and isolate those with symptoms.

Experts say an epidemic in North Korea could be dire because of its chronic lack of medical supplies and poor healthcare infrastructure.

Queensland Health trying to track down ill woman's clients

Queensland health authorities are trying to track down anyone who came into contact with a Gold Coast beautician who is the state's ninth case.

The 63-year-old became ill after she returned to the Gold Coast from Iran, and is now being quarantined in a Gold Coast hospital.

She treated up to 40 customers while working at the Hair Plus salon, in the Australia Fair shopping centre at Southport.

The state's chief health officer, Dr Jeannette Young, said the woman did facial treatments on clients, in sessions lasting less than 15 minutes.

"She saw a number of clients each for brief interactions, so we believe the risk is incredibly low," Dr Young said.

Could Ferrari miss the Australian GP?

With Italy suffering more than any other country in Europe, with more than 800 cases reported, there are now fears that potential travel bans may effect the Australian Formula One Grand Prix.

The Italian team fears key staff may not be allowed into the country for the March 15 race.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said his team would need confirmation from F1 and FIA officials that there would be no surprises before allowing staff to travel to Australia.

Image

"What we will need is simply to have assurance before leaving," Mr Binotto told Motorsport.com.

"If there are any medical screenings, we need to know about them. We need to understand what are the consequences in case of any problem."

Ferrari provides assistance to Haas and Alfa Sauber as well as its own AlphaTauri team, so any problems getting staff to Albert Park would expand well beyond the team's own garage.

"What will be the situation if eventually four teams cannot run? Will the race take place or not? That is not my decision," he said.

Global figures at a glance

These are the latest figures, as of early Saturday afternoon, with countries including South Korea, China, Italy, France and Germany all recording higher numbers of cases than were available on Friday night.

Mainland China: 79,250 cases, 2,835 deaths
South Korea: 2,931 cases, 17 deaths
Japan: 933 cases, including 705 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, 10 deaths
Italy: 889 cases, 21 deaths
Iran: 593 cases, 43 deaths
Hong Kong: 94 cases, 2 deaths
Singapore: 93 cases
United States: 63 cases
France: 57 cases, 2 deaths
Germany: 48 cases
Kuwait: 45 cases
Thailand: 41 cases
Bahrain: 36 cases
Taiwan: 34 cases, 1 death
Spain: 32 cases
Malaysia: 23 cases
Australia: 23 cases
United Kingdom: 20 cases
United Arab Emirates: 19 cases
Vietnam: 16 cases
Canada: 14 cases
Macau: 10 cases
Switzerland: 8 cases
Sweden: 7 cases
Iraq: 7 cases
Norway: 6 cases
Croatia: 5 cases
Israel, Oman, Greece: 4 cases each
Philippines: 3 cases, 1 death
India, Romania, Austria : 3 cases each
Pakistan, Russia, Finland, Mexico, Lebanon: 2 cases each
Egypt, Algeria, Afghanistan, North Macedonia, Georgia, Estonia, Lithuania, Belgium, Netherlands, Romania, Belarus, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Northern Ireland, Denmark, Brazil, New Zealand, Nigeria, Iceland, San Marino, Azerbaijan, Monaco, Estonia,: 1 case each

South Korea records more new cases than China's last update

South Korea reported 594 new coronavirus cases, raising the country's total infections to 2,931, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said on Saturday.

While mainland China confirmed 427 new cases of coronavirus infections on Friday, the country's National Health Commission said on Saturday, which was up from 327 cases a day earlier.

That brings the total accumulated number of confirmed cases in mainland China so far to 79,250.

The death toll from the outbreak in mainland China had reached 2,835 as of the end of Friday, up by 47 from the previous day.

The central province of Hubei, the epicentre of the outbreak, reported 45 new deaths, while in the provincial capital of Wuhan, 37 people died.

Europe is reeling, in particular Italy

In Italy, which has reported 888 cases — the most of any country outside of Asia — hotel bookings are falling and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte raised the spectre of recession.

Shopkeepers like Flavio Gastaldi, who has sold souvenirs in Venice for three decades, are wondering if they can survive the blow.

"We will return the keys to the landlords soon," Mr Gastaldi said.

"It's not cholera or the black plague," said Simone Venturini, the city councillor for economic development in Venice, where tourism already hurt by historic flooding last year has sunk with news of virus cases.

"The damage that worries us even more is the damage to the economy."

The virus outbreak is even impacting football in Italy with the Serie A match between Juventus and Inter Milan to be played in an empty stadium.

In Switzerland the government banned events with more than 1,000 people, while at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany, basins of holy water were emptied for fear of spreading germs.

Trump suggests US closing in on a cure

US President Donald Trump flagged travel bans to the United States as well as talking up the United States' response to the outbreak.

Image

He said the US was "working on cures and getting some good results".

"We haven't lost anybody yet and hopefully we can keep that intact," Mr Trump said.

"We're ordering a lot of supplies, a lot of elements, that frankly we wouldn't be ordering unless it was something like this, we are ordering elements of medical, we are working on cures and we are getting some very good results, they are working as rapidly as they can on a vaccine for the future."

The President also said the US may issue new travel bans.

"We're looking at a couple of countries, a few countries that have little bit disproportionately high number, and we're going to make that decision very soon," Mr Trump said.

Federal health officials also may invoke a 70-year-old defence law to guarantee the availability of protective gear should the virus spread.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told reporters the administration may invoke the 1950 Defence Production Act to ensure production of needed supplies the anti-virus effort.

The Government says it needs 300 million masks for healthcare workers, but only has 30 million stockpiled.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said two more Americans tested positive for the virus out of the group of quarantined passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, and Santa Clara County in California reported another case, bringing the total number of cases in the US to 63.

Health officials confirmed the Santa Clara case as the second in the United States believed to have been transmitted to a person who didn't travel internationally or come in close contact with anyone who had it.

Hong Kong records 'weak' dog positive

This one is far from good news for animal lovers with reports out of Hong Kong saying a pet dog returned a weak positive for COVID-19.

The Hong Kong Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation confirmed the news in a statement.

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The department said that it received a referral from the Department of Health on February 26 that the dog, belonging to a patient infected with COVID-19, would be handed over to it.

It picked up the dog from a residential flat in Tai Hang, near Causeway Bay. Nasal and oral cavity samples from the dog tested weak positive.

There is currently no evidence pet animals can be a source of infection to people.

The department will closely monitor the dog and collect further samples to confirm if the dog has really been infected with the virus or if this is a result of environmental contamination of its mouth and nose.

Repeated tests will be conducted and the dog will only be returned when the test result is negative.
Iran death toll reportedly tops 200, six times the official figure

At least 210 people have died from the fast-spreading coronavirus in various cities in Iran, BBC Persian reported on Friday (local time), citing hospital sources.

The figure is six times higher than the official death toll of 34 announced by Iran's health ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur earlier on Friday and recorded by John Hopkins data.

Mr Jahanpur rejected the BBC report in a tweet and took aim at the BBC's reporting of the figures.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday the United States had offered to help with the coronavirus response in Iran.

Iran, which is currently the target of US sanctions, said the offer was ridiculous.

"The claim to help Iran in dealing with coronavirus, from a country which with its economic terrorism has created widespread pressure for the people of Iran and even closed the paths for buying medicine and medical equipment, is a ridiculous claim and a political-psychological game," Iran's foreign ministry spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, said, according to the Mehr news agency.

US President Donald Trump pulled out from a multilateral nuclear deal with Iran in 2018 and reimposed sanctions which have battered the Islamic Republic's economy.

Iran's health ministry said it recorded 388 coronavirus cases, as the country announced the closure of all schools for three days from Saturday.

The country cancelled Friday prayers in the capitals of 23 of its 31 provinces, including in Tehran and the Shiite Muslim holy cities of Qom and Mashhad.

Those infected in Iran include Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi and Masoumeh Ebtekar, vice-president for women and family affairs.

Iran is the only country in the Gulf region that has reported deaths from the coronavirus, which has spread from China, but people have been infected in Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

How to protect yourself against COVID-19: A reminder

Firstly, there's no evidence of COVID-19 spreading in the community in Australia so far. Common sense applies here.

But if you are worried, here is how to minimise your risk:

Wash your hands properly: Soap and water are two of our most powerful allies against infectious disease. Hand washing should take at least 20 seconds (hum "Happy Birthday" to yourself twice as you wash to keep track)
Be careful what you touch: We don't know how long the virus can survive on surfaces. Keep surfaces that are touched regularly clean, and avoid touching your nose, mouth or eyes, especially if you haven't washed your hands for a while
If you're at risk of COVID-19 (for example, if you've been in contact with someone with the illness or you've travelled somewhere there's an outbreak) and you've got flu-like symptoms, phone your GP. But don't show up to a GP practice or hospital without telling them first, as they will need to arrange to protect others before you arrive
Get a flu shot when the time comes: There's no vaccine against COVID-19 (yet — and there won't be for some months), but using the vaccines we do have will help ease the burden on the health system and make it easier to identify COVID-19.

WHO upgrades coronavirus risk to highest level

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has upgraded its assessment of the risk of global spread and impact of COVID-19 to "very high", the highest level of alarm.

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WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that as "most cases can still be traced to known contacts or clusters of cases" there was still "a chance of containing this virus, if robust action is taken to detect cases early, isolate and care for patients and trace contacts".

"We do not see evidence as yet that the virus is spreading freely in communities. As long as that is the case we still have a chance of containing this virus."

Speaking in Geneva, Dr Tedros said China had now reported a total of 78,959 cases of COVID-19 to WHO, including 2,791 deaths.

Outside China there are now 4,351 cases in 49 countries, and 67 deaths.

Since Thursday, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Netherlands and Nigeria have all reported their first cases, which Dr Tedros said had links to the outbreak in Italy.

He said 24 cases had been exported from Italy to 14 countries, and 97 cases had been exported from Iran to 11 countries.

Since Friday, New Zealand, Mexico, Belarus and Azerbaijan reported their first cases, all with travel history connected to epicentres in Italy and Iran.

Mexico is the second Latin American country to register the virus, after Brazil.

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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by Lakatoi 4 »

At least some countries have been wisely preparing for a serious vital outbreak. This from the ABC:

“It could be any warehouse in Australia. In fact, you may travel past it every day and not even know.

In multiple secret locations across Australia, about $100 million worth of medical supplies — including 20 million masks, antibiotics, vaccines and equipment such as basic hand sanitisers — is sitting on huge pallets wrapped in plastic, ready to be deployed.

It has been gradually accumulated over more than a decade in case of a bioterrorist attack, medical emergencies or pandemics.

It's known as the National Medical Stockpile (NMS).

And with coronavirus almost certain to be declared a pandemic, according to the Prime Minister, the stockpile is now, according to health authorities, set to become a critical element of the response to COVID-19 — its first major use in more than a decade.”

—————————————————————————————

BTW - Something interesting in today’s news. Apparently data collected on infections just released indicates that children appear to be virtually immune from this virus :!:

Of course the very old and those that have underlying health issues are the most at risk, but that’s common to all viral infections such as the common strains of influenza.
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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

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Part of that stockpile - millions of the masks - were released during the bushfire emergency for smoke protection. It may not have been (or has only just made it) fully replenished yet, due to where the majority of masks are made. :shock:

But there has always been a stockpile of anti-viral, particularly the expected next flu season vaccines, that are used and rotated before going out of date, regularly.

I would imagine the every major metropolitan centre has at least one "warehouse" ready to deploy speedily. I would have more (minimise the risk)and they would be on the outskirts of each city. I would also have them well underground (again to minimise any risk).
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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

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According to the Dear Leader of my country, it is all a hoax, so there is no point in taking precautions. Whatever the Dear Leader says is true, so I must believe it, and act accordingly.

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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

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https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-02/coronavirus-updates-live/12015240

Global figures at a glance

These are the latest figures, as of Sunday, with Italy and South Korea both recording a large jump in cases.

Mainland China: 79,826 cases, 2,761 deaths
South Korea: 3,526 cases, 17 deaths
Italy: 1,128 cases, 29 deaths
Japan: 946 cases, including 705 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, 11 deaths
Iran: 978 cases, 54 deaths
Singapore: 102 cases
France: 100 cases, 2 deaths
Hong Kong: 96 cases, 2 deaths
Germany: 117 cases
United States: 72 cases, 1 death
Spain: 76 cases
Kuwait: 45 cases
Thailand: 42 cases, 1 death
Bahrain: 41 cases
Taiwan: 40 cases, 1 death
Malaysia: 29 cases
Australia: 25 cases, 1 death
United Kingdom: 25 cases
UAE, Switzerland: 22 cases
Vietnam: 16 cases
Norway: 15 cases
Iraq: 13 cases
Sweden: 12 cases
Macau: 10 cases
Austria: 9 cases
Israel: 7 cases
Netherlands: 10 cases
Croatia, Oman: 6 cases
Greece, Mexico, Lebanon, Pakistan: 4 cases
Czech Republic: 3 cases
Philippines: 3 cases, 1 death
India, Romania, Finland, Denmark, Azerbaijan, Georgia: 3 cases
Russia, Brazil, Belgium: 2 cases
Egypt, Algeria, Qatar, Afghanistan, Ireland, North Macedonia, Luxembourg, Georgia, Lithuania, Belarus, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Iceland, San Marino, Monaco, Estonia, Ecuador, Dominican Republic: 1 case each

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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by Allanswood »

Current death rate: 3.4% of cases / 7% of recoveries.
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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by kuikka »

What would be nice to know but I haven't seen anywhere for global statistics: How many of the cases reported are imported? That means those cases that have been infected abroad but returned home and got sick there. My understanding is that both Iran and Italy have exported large number of cases, which make other countries look much worse than they really are (as the people didn't get infected there).

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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

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kuikka wrote:What would be nice to know but I haven't seen anywhere for global statistics: How many of the cases reported are imported? That means those cases that have been infected abroad but returned home and got sick there. My understanding is that both Iran and Italy have exported large number of cases, which make other countries look much worse than they really are (as the people didn't get infected there).
As far as I understood even patient zero in Italy and Iran where infected in China.
Of the 10 cases in the Netherlands 4 cases are not yet known where they have originated. These are still researched. The other 6 have all been imported from Italy.
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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by fchd »

bazza4338 wrote:https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-02/coronavirus-updates-live/12015240

Global figures at a glance

These are the latest figures, as of Sunday, with Italy and South Korea both recording a large jump in cases.

Mainland China: 79,826 cases, 2,761 deaths
United Kingdom: 25 cases
UK now up to 36 cases, up 13 on Sunday, including one case with no known link to any infected area.

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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by bazza4338 »

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-02/coronavirus-updates-live/12015240

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Global figures at a glance

These are the latest figures as of Monday morning (Australian Time), with Italy and South Korea both recording a large jump in cases.

Mainland China: 79,826 cases, 2,870 deaths
South Korea: 3,526 cases, 20 deaths
Italy: 1,128 cases, 34 deaths
Japan: 961 cases, including 705 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, 12 deaths
Iran: 978 cases, 54 deaths
Singapore: 102 cases
France: 130 cases, 2 deaths
Hong Kong: 96 cases, 2 deaths
Germany: 66 cases
United States: 74 cases, 1 death
Spain: 76 cases
Kuwait: 45 cases
Thailand: 42 cases, 1 death
Bahrain: 38 cases
Taiwan: 40 cases, 1 death
Malaysia: 29 cases
Australia: 25 cases, 1 death
United Kingdom: 35 cases, 1 death
United Arab Emirates: 21 cases
Switzerland: 10 cases
Canada: 20 cases
Vietnam: 16 cases
Norway: 19 cases
Iraq: 19 cases
Sweden: 15 cases
Macau: 10 cases
Austria: 5 cases
Israel: 5 cases
Russia: 5 cases
Netherlands: 10 cases
Oman: 6 cases
Finland: 6 cases
Greece, Lebanon, Croatia: 7 cases
Mexico, Pakistan: 4 cases
Philippines: 3 cases, 1 death
India, Romania, Azerbaijan, Czech Republic: 3 cases
Brazil, Belgium, Belarus, Denmark, Georgia: 2 cases
Algeria, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Iceland, Ireland, Lithuania. Monaco, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Qatar, San Marino, Sri Lanka

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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

Post by kuikka »

jkrabbenbos wrote:
kuikka wrote:What would be nice to know but I haven't seen anywhere for global statistics: How many of the cases reported are imported? That means those cases that have been infected abroad but returned home and got sick there. My understanding is that both Iran and Italy have exported large number of cases, which make other countries look much worse than they really are (as the people didn't get infected there).
As far as I understood even patient zero in Italy and Iran where infected in China.
Of the 10 cases in the Netherlands 4 cases are not yet known where they have originated. These are still researched. The other 6 have all been imported from Italy.
Yes, the case 0 in Iran and Italy most likely got either infected in China or got infected by a visitor from China (in which case they are not imported cases), but case 1 is already a domestic one.

In Finland we got just today 3 new cases. The first 3 were imported while the 3 new ones were infected in Finland by 2 imported cases. To my understanding, they are (extended?) family members although that has not been stated anywhere directly. So, the current number is 6 in Finland. 3 imported ones and 3 domestic ones.

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Coronavirus's spread in Iran sees nation become focus of COVID-19 fears in Middle East

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-02/how-iran-has-become-a ... k/12014792

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As Iran becomes a new hotbed for coronavirus outside of China, authorities around the world are scrambling to expand their travel restrictions to stem the spread of the disease.

Key points:

At least seven high-ranking Iranian officials have tested positive for the virus
Iran's coronavirus fatality rate of 7 per cent dwarfs the 1.6 per cent recorded outside of China
Iran is putting together a team of about 300,000 people to perform door-to-door coronavirus screenings

Tehran reported a 65 per cent jump in new confirmed coronavirus cases overnight, from 593 the day before to 978.

Of those, 54 have died from the virus — the highest death toll outside China — according to official figures, but there are reports the real figure has surpassed 200.

At least seven high-ranking Iranian officials including deputy health minister Iraj Harirchi, Vice-President Masoumeh Ebtekar and five MPs have tested positive for the virus.

One member of parliament, elected in Iran's February 21 polls, had died of coronavirus, Iranian media reported on Saturday.

What is also concerning is Iran's fatality rate of 7 per cent, which is more than double the 3.4 per cent in China and quadruple the 1.6 per cent recorded outside of China, according to figures from the Australian Department of Health.

"This disease came unseen and undetected into Iran," Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organisation's emergencies program, said during a news conference last week.

"So the extent of infection may be broader than what we may be seeing."

The high death rate has raised questions over how the Iranian Government has handled the crisis and attracted accusations it has tried to cover up the severity of the outbreak.

Australia adds Iran to travel ban, US expands restrictions

Infections in neighbouring countries, and even in far away nations such as Canada, Norway and New Zealand, have been traced to Iran.

Australia, which has traced four coronavirus cases back to Iran, on Saturday banned foreigners coming to Australia from Iran, while the US expanded its existing travel restrictions on Iran to include any foreign national who had visited the nation in the past 14 days.

Several countries including Oman, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq and Saudi Arabia have suspended flights to the country after cases there were linked to Iran, while many neighbouring countries have closed their borders with the Islamic republic.

Australia's Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton cited the spike in deaths and new cases as the reason Australia had banned travel from Iran but not from South Korea (3,150 cases, 16 deaths) or Italy (1,128 cases, 29 deaths).

"As the chief medical officer has pointed out, it's not possible to extend the ban to every country," he told Insiders host David Speers.

"We'll see what phase we move into next, but there's particular concern about the lack of reporting out of Iran, the very high death rate.

On Friday, the BBC, citing hospital sources, reported at least 210 people had died from coronavirus in Iran, a figure that was six times higher than the nation's official death toll of 34 the same day.

Local media quoted Nahid Khodakarami, the head of the health committee for Tehran's City Council, on Friday as saying "it's likely that between 10,000 to 15,000 people in Iran have been infected with coronavirus".

But Iranian authorities have continuously rejected reports of doctored figures.

Mr Dutton said: "If you look at the under-reporting or the lack of reporting coming out of Iran to start with, I think there was a real concern as to whether they had a handle on the numbers."

"And I think even the numbers that we're talking about, relative to South Korea or elsewhere at the moment, potentially are well under-estimated.

"Obviously South Korea has a more advanced health system and they have been reporting numbers for a period of time. So I think there are key differences between those different markets."

Iran deploys spray trucks and fumigators

Iran now has 15 laboratories testing for the virus, and the nation has introduced a range of measures to stem the spread of coronavirus.

Spray trucks and fumigators have been deployed in the streets, and subway carriages and buses in Tehran are among public locations being sprayed with disinfectant.

Tehran has ordered that schools be closed until Tuesday and extended the closure of universities and a ban on concerts and sports events.

Starting Tuesday, Iran will put together approximately 300,000 teams to perform door-to-door coronavirus screening, Health Minister Saeed Namaki announced on state television on Sunday.

Last week, Mr Jahanpur suggested "tens of thousands" could seek testing for coronavirus. He also encouraged people to continue to avoid mass gatherings — even funerals for those who had died of the virus.

Authorities later banned the public from visiting patients at hospitals nationwide, state television reported.

"The safest place is our homes and our cities," he said.

"We have to reduce our visits, even attending to funerals, and of course those people who are mourning will feel guilty if they find that their ceremony causes the disease to spread."

Concerns continue to grow, however. Videos posted online show an angry crowd setting fire to the courtyard of a medical clinic overnight in the southern city of Bandar Abbas.

Semi-official media reported those gathered wrongly believed that the clinic housed people diagnosed with coronavirus.

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Re: What coronavirus precautions is your country taking?

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https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-02/coronavirus-human-to- ... a/12018198

Australia records first case of human-to-human transmission of COVID-19

Updated 19 minutes ago

The first person-to-person transmission of coronavirus has been confirmed in Australia.

It is believed to have been transmission from a patient to a doctor in New South Wales.

NSW has six cases after two new cases were reported at the weekend.

Australia has recorded 40 other cases of the virus, and one death on Sunday, but before now all patients contracted the virus while overseas.

More to come.

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Australia records first cases of human-to-human transmission of coronavirus

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-02/coronavirus-human-to- ... a/12018198

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N.S.W. Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant

The first cases of person-to-person transmission of coronavirus have been confirmed in Australia.

Key points:

Three new cases have been confirmed in NSW, two of which are human-to-human transmissions
A 53-year-old frontline health worker in Sydney has contracted the disease
A 41-year-old woman has contracted the virus from her brother, who recently returned from Iran

A 53-year-old health worker in western Sydney and a 41-year-old woman also in Sydney have contracted the virus without leaving the country.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said it was "particularly concerning" to have these two cases on NSW soil.

One other new case, a male in his thirties who returned from Iran on Saturday, was also confirmed this afternoon.

This brings the the total number of cases in NSW to nine.

The 41-year-old woman is the sister of a 43-year-old Iranian man who returned positive test results on Sunday. She has not travelled to Iran but was in close contact with her brother, who returned on February 22.

It was not known how the health worker contracted coronavirus but NSW Health said he had been working in direct contact with patients.

He has not travelled overseas for three months.

NSW Health has commenced investigations to determine which patients seen by the health worker need to be contacted and possibly isolated.

"There are no indications anyone else has contracted it from the doctor but NSW Health is taking every precaution," Mr Hazzard said.

"I stress that the Government here in NSW and the health authorities are being extremely transparent with the community as this unfolds."

All new cases are being treated at Westmead Hospital in Sydney's west, with the health worker being cared for in the intensive care unit.

'No handshaking'

Mr Hazzard said while there was no need for alarm and he would not be changing his daily routine, some discretion was still needed.

He has recommended people cease all handshaking.

"It's time Aussies give each other a pat on the back. No handshaking, it's not necessary."

"[And] I'm not going to say don't kiss, but you could be exercising a degree of care and caution with who you kiss."

NSW chief medical officer Dr Kerry Chant said the new case involving the health worker raises the question of whether a case has been missed in NSW.

She said while this is always a possibility, the public should be reassured there is no widespread transmission in NSW.

"We have to remain vigilant but, even if occasional cases are missed, if people practise good hygiene, do commonsense things, then the likelihood of transmitting it, even if someone is unaware they had it, is reduced," she said.

She said any patients in intensive care units or who are suffering from pneumonia are being tested for COVID-19.

Dr Chant said people should seek immediate health assessment if symptoms develop after returning from at-risk countries including mainland China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong and Cambodia.

Australia has recorded 33 other cases of the virus, and one death on Sunday, but all other patients contracted the virus while overseas.

Peter Collignon, an infectious diseases physician at Canberra Hospital, said the person-to-person transmission was to be expected given the nature of the virus or any illness.

"I think it shows what you expect," Professor Collignon told ABC News.

"People who are in close proximity to those that are unwell may transmit this infection to others."

However, he said data shows even if one has close contact with an infected individual, this did not mean they would become infected as this type of transmission was low.

"If you look at the data coming from China, this is less infectious than I would have expected," Professor Collignon said.

"It appears that about 2 per cent of people that have had close contact [with an infected individual] may acquire the virus."

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